Comments from Ian

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Ian
Ian commented about Henry Miller's Theatre on Aug 18, 2005 at 12:56 pm

I cannot now remember where but I am sure I read that the new Henry Millars will be a exact replica of the old, but with more extensive foyer space and facilities.

Generally when a theatre is “dismantled” prior to “re-erectition” (as in the Apollo/Lyric which became the Ford/Hilton) this involves hacking out bits of the plasterwork so that mouldings can be taken for the new theatre rather than piecing together the old plaster.

This can, execpt to devout historians, result in a better theatre as technological advances since the orginal design can be seemlessly incorporated into the new.

Ian
Ian commented about Haggar's Cinema on Jul 30, 2005 at 6:05 am

I can remember seeing Plaza Suite here when on holiday once. It was very small with seats on a single level and you entered the auditorium at the screen end of the building.

Ian
Ian commented about Cottage Road Cinema on Jul 23, 2005 at 6:43 am

Following the sudden closure of the Lounge Cinema early in 2005, the future of the Cottage Road was plunged into doubt. Unless a buyer can be found the cinema will cease trading on 28 July 2005 – a suitable alternative use for this very old cinema is hard to imagine.

Ian
Ian commented about Hull Screen on Jul 23, 2005 at 6:39 am

The Hull Screen is to move to a temporary location on the University campus as the Library wishes to take back the space that the cinema / theatre occupies. An investigation is on-going regarding converting part of the basement of the City Hall into a three screen art-house cinema.

Ian
Ian commented about Parkway Cinema on Jul 21, 2005 at 2:59 pm

The end is indeed nigh – the cinema will close in July 2005. It is believed that the building has been sold but not as a cinema.

Ian
Ian commented about Futurist Theatre on Jul 16, 2005 at 2:06 pm

Sorry SBC in the above post refers to Scarborough Borough Council – I sometimes forget this is an international site and simply use local vernacular!

Ian
Ian commented about Futurist Theatre on Jul 16, 2005 at 1:41 pm

I agree that purely on architectural terms the Futurist is far from ideal – the problem is that anyone who knows SBC will also be aware that any replacement multiplex or theatre will be on the cheapest possible scale, multipurpose (and ideal for nothing) and will be to the detriment of the town.

The Spa is wholly inadequate as a theatre – either the theatre or Grand Hall – and as a listed building cannot be altered to the extent that would be needed to provide decent facilities – and it would cost even more that the Futurist!

You only have to look at Bridlingtons lamentable “Forum” cinemas (a place I absolutely refuse to add to Cinema Treasures) to imagine what Scarborough would get in place of the Futurist.

Ian
Ian commented about Futurist Theatre on Jul 16, 2005 at 6:58 am

A shock report has been drawn up for the demolition of this cinema/theatre – against the conclusions of the consultants appointed to review the future of the building.

From the Scarborough Evening News 15 July 2005:–

[i]Shock demolition move
DEMOLITION plans for the Futurist Theatre on Scarborough seafront are being drawn up, it has been revealed.
A special report has been commissioned into the cost of knocking down the venue and not replacing it with a theatre.

The move comes months after consultants from ABL Cultural Consulting told the council that their preferred option was to save and redevelop the site.

Now regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which is working with Scarborough Council on the proposed redevelopment of the theatre, has commissioned specialists to draw up the demolition report.

The option of demolishing the Futurist and redeveloping it would cost £10 million â€" that is half as much as keeping the building and redeveloping as a theatre.

Theatre operator Barrie Stead took over the running of the Futurist two years ago and has brought a host of comedians and musicians to the venue since then.

He said he is confident the historic seafront theatre will still be open next summer and that he wants to be involved after the redevelopment of the site.

Mr Stead has a contract to run the Futurist until the end of year but that could be extended and he has already started booking acts for next year.

He said: “We have established that there is an audience out there, and if the facilities were better then we would be able to book bigger acts and get bigger audiences.

“It looks to me as if it will be a couple of years before anything is decided and we would like to think the Futurist will still be there next summer. We would love to be there after the redevelopment.

“My connections with Scarborough and the Futurist go back 20 years. I love Scarborough and so does my wife Brenda and we want to be part of the future of the Futurist.”

The demolition and redevelopment of the Futurist Theatre site into a leisure complex including a multi-screen cinema, restaurants, hotel and other leisure activities such as bowling or a fitness centre is estimated to cost £10 million

The second option to retain the current Futurist auditorium and revamp the building, incorporating all the same attractions as the first plan would cost £20 million.

The redevelopment plans are still being hindered by businessman Peter Lee’s refusal to sell the Mermaid complex to Scarborough Council has made for his property.

The council needs to buy the Mermaid in order to get complete ownership of the Futurist site. Without it, any plans to demolish the Futurist and build a leisure complex including a multi-screen cinema, or to retain the building and give it a major overhaul, will stay on the backburner.

Mr Lee’s refusal to sell makes it impossible for the site to be redeveloped, and although he could be forced to sell the legal process could include a public inquiry and take up to two years to complete.

Scarborough Council officers will tell members of the council’s land and property overview and scrutiny committee, who meet on Tuesday, that more work is needed before decisions on the future of the site are made.

In a report to councillors, the council’s head of property services Graham Price says: “An economic feasibility and viability report on the development is being carried out by consultants and their report is imminent. This will add more information and enable more informed decisions to be made on the components of the redevelopment to achieve the best balance between commercial and subsidised elements."
15 July 2005
[/i]

Ian
Ian commented about Blackburn Hall on May 30, 2005 at 11:49 am

I too have had trouble finding any details. It certainly looks like a former cinema, two photos of the Blackburn Hall and one of the Palace can be seen here :

http://www.byphotos.com/album/1346990

If anyone can help with further information please let us know!

Ian
Ian commented about Theatre De Luxe on May 21, 2005 at 12:09 pm

If you are ever in Dublin the Camden de Luxe hotel is a very comfortable (and sensibly priced) place to stay. The hotel rooms have been added to the right hand side and above the auditorium. The ground floor foyer remains intact giving access to the restuarant in the former stalls area – with much of the plasterwork retained. The nightclub is on the first floor and the snooker hall on the second. This is the area of greatest interest as, although now a flat floor (on two levels from approximately the level of the rear of the balcony, stepped down about halfway down the auditorium) it retains all of its very elborate plasterwork on the barrel vaulted and segmented roof and side walls. It is in immaculate condition.

There is also a full fly tower on the De Luxe (now also partially converted to bedrooms) which has unfortunately resulted in the proscenium arch being filled in.

Ian
Ian commented about Odeon Leicester Square on May 21, 2005 at 11:57 am

The Odeon Leicester Square incorrectly claims the “largest in Europe” tag – Scarborough’s Futurist holds 2155, although a full house for a film is unknown!

Ian
Ian commented about Rozen Theater on Apr 19, 2005 at 5:28 pm

Photos can be seen at
http://www.byphotos.com/album/1352447
taken the day before opening, Thursday 14 April 2005.

Ian
Ian commented about Rozen Theater on Apr 19, 2005 at 5:17 pm

The Rozen has just had its interior gutted and rebuilt as an adaptable black box theatre. The opening was held last weeked – 15/16 April 2005. The stained glass windows and the facade remain intact but inside everything is new, with no reference to the previous layout.

Ian
Ian commented about Picture Playhouse on Apr 17, 2005 at 9:50 pm

Recent pictures of the interior can be viewed at

http://www.byphotos.com/album/1346990

there was no electricity in the derelict and partially stripped out building so the quality is not great – but the unique balcony, the screen frame and some idea of the decor can be gained.

Ian
Ian commented about Picture Playhouse on Apr 17, 2005 at 9:31 pm

Following 111 objections the planning application to turn the Picture Playhouse into retail use was refused. The owner is to appeal against the decision.

Ian
Ian commented about Lounge Cinema on Apr 17, 2005 at 9:49 am

As I am not sure how long the Lounge website will remain, I have copied the closing statement :–

The Lounge cinema, one of the best known leisure institutions in Headingley, has been closed down by it’s owners, Associated Tower Cinemas (ATC), following declining attendances and mounting losses after a tough five years. The closure has resulted in the redundancy of three full time employees, and some part time employees. In a statement issued today (10 January) ATC said that the closure was a sad blow for the company and its employees involved. The Lounge has been losing money for over five years. We simply cannot compete against the newer Multiplex cinemas and what they have to offer. At this stage ATC has no alternative plans for the Lounge site and they are seeking an urgent meeting with planners and local councilors to discuss how it can be redeveloped. ATC’s other smaller Cottage Road cinema in Headingley is not currently affected by this decision but its future is being reviewed as to its long term viability. For further information please contact: Malcolm Cowing at Brahm Public Relations on 0113 230 4000 or 07770 512266

Ian
Ian commented about Lounge Cinema on Apr 17, 2005 at 9:46 am

Sadly the Lounge closed suddenly in January 2005.Competition from 3 multiplex cinemas in the vicinity finally forced the single screen Lounge out of business. Tragic!

Ian
Ian commented about Prince Edward Theatre on Mar 12, 2005 at 7:39 pm

The theatre has recently undergone further upgrading prior to the opening of “Mary Poppins”. Additional toilets, enlarged bars and a unique outdoor extension to the Dress Circle bar over the theatre canopy overlooking Compton Street will be a boon in the Summer.

The building, so long unsuccessful, is now (arguably) Londons pre-eminent house for large scale musicals.

Ian
Ian commented about Classic Brighton on Dec 29, 2004 at 10:53 pm

I think you may be confusing the Curzon / Classic with the Embassy further up the Western Road but across the border into Hove. The Curzon was totally demolished around 1979 and has been replaced by the Waitrose supermarket. The Embassy, part of the Miles Byrne circuit of cinema closed as a cinema in the early 1980’s, became the Black Cat bingo hall, then a pine furniture shop and has more recently become an amusement arcade.

Ian
Ian commented about Classic Leeds on Dec 1, 2004 at 3:46 pm

Hilarie – Sorry only just seen your comment. Have no other pics (but like Joel I could take some for you). The one above is slightly cut-down in size. Send your e-mail address to if you would like a copy of the original. Is this a project covering specific types / areas? I have loads of other cinema pics …..

Ian
Ian commented about Savoy Cinema on Nov 18, 2004 at 3:56 pm

As predicted – when I drove past yesterday the demolition crew had been and gone, along with this once fine cinema. I do not know if any of the surviving features were salvaged before the bulldozers moved in. A small housing estate is in the course of erection.

Ian
Ian commented about Scala Picture House on Nov 18, 2004 at 3:49 pm

Following a tour of this building yesterday, it appears to be even more interesting than previously thought. It was built for the church as a way of raising money (the nearby St Peters had a similar scheme with the Tivoli). The stalls floor has been levelled and a false ceiling put in at balcony level. This part of the building is now a plain meeting room. However above this everything is intact, from the plasterwork on the walls to the projection room (empty) and a delightful single box at the rear of the balcony. Narrow corridors, tiny little payboxes positioned in the centre of a door and an open trussed ceiling all remain – largely unseen for decades.

Ian
Ian commented about St. George's Hall on Nov 18, 2004 at 3:42 pm

After the partial collapse of the ceiling in 2003 (the 150th anniversay of the hall), the auditorium has now been restored and is in splendid shape. The Hall is well used for concerts, comedy and even opera and is destined to be a part of the cultural life of Bradford for years to come.

Ian
Ian commented about Odeon Bradford on Nov 18, 2004 at 3:40 pm

Following the news that the Odeon auditorium was not a viable proposition to restore, but the facade and two towers would be incorporated into a new building, comes the sad news that the steelwork is a) in a poor condition and b) intricately linked to the steel frame of the rest of the building. It therefore seems likely that the entire building will now be demolished. (November 2004)

Ian
Ian commented about Picture Playhouse on Oct 15, 2004 at 4:31 pm

The Picture Playhouse closed in 2003 and is very likely to be stripped out and converted into retail space. At present (October 2004) the stage, screen and front stalls seats have been removed, and a planning application is almost certain to approve the removal of the balcony and change of use to retail.